Why was SGMA established?

Over the years, California water managers have observed a decline in water levels in aquifers in some areas of the state. Impacts and issues related to the decline is apparent. For example, some wells in the Central Valley have experienced declines in excess of 100 feet during the drought and increases in groundwater pumping have exacerbated some areas of land subsidence, which threatens infrastructure such as roads, canals and bridges. In January 2014, the California Governor’s Office identified groundwater management as one of ten key action steps in its California Water Action Plan. SGMA, signed into law months later, follows up on that action, giving local agencies the ability to manage their respective basins following statewide guidelines.

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